Drawing on striking desert vistas and decades of living in the American Southwest, Barbara Bayless Lacy creates unforgettable works on canvas distinguished by brilliant and blazing color. Rough-hewn mountains and canyons, old mining towns, isolated missions and mesa-top pueblos come vibrantly to life through her bold, painterly brush strokes.
A juried artist based in Paradise Valley, Barbara re-imagines Southwestern vistas and long-stored memories with clear, fresh colors. A journalist and writer for many years, Barbara lived for a decade with her family on the Navajo Indian Reservation, first in Tuba City and then the Navajo capitol, Window Rock. Thus, her vivid, powerful paintings are drawn from her storehouse of memories of the reservation and her wide-ranging travels throughout the West.
Barbara is represented by the Wild Holly Gallery (22 Easy Street, Carefree, Arizona – 480-595-8757). Her work, “A Padre’s Legacy,” is one of 25 out of 327 chosen for the Arizona Centennial Exhibition in the Arizona House of Representatives. She is a juried member of Arizona Artists’ Guild, has been juried into the Arizona Art Alliance and is a member of the Scottsdale Artists League.
You will find recognizable subjects in my landscapes…the Four Peaks, Picacho Peak, the Far View Tower at the Grand Canyon. Early in my painting life, I learned that my collectors enjoy recognizing the location of my paintings, especially if they have been there. I pick the location for the story it can tell; the history of my life as well as Arizona’s and the American West.
My painting of the 70’ Desert View Tower at the Grand Canyon celebrates work by one of my heroes, Architect Mary Jane Colter who designed many National Park Service buildings including Bright Angel Lodge at the Canyon. The Tower, built in 1932, reflects the Anasazi Indians’ watchtowers scattered across the Southwest “Geronimo Named My Grandmother” refers to the family story that two Apache Indians arrived at my great-grand- parents’ house in the hills north of Tucson just as my grandmother was born and asked to name the baby. They called her Wauneta, ate lunch and left. Was Geronimo one of them?
Here I should tell you that my paintings don’t follow “local” color. My skies will be bright turquoise, soft orange or threatening green; mountains, red, turquoise, orange, dark blues, structures, animals or birds. . .whatever color looks good! Since I am not copying nature, or trying to imitate it, I use the colors I like.
I didn’t start out as an artist. I never was the kid in class who was always drawing horses in the margin of their books or cartoons of their teachers on the back of their papers. If I drew anything, it was daisies. And not very good ones at that. So, I became a writer. . .not fiction, my imagination didn’t allow it…but newswriting. I spent 40 years writing news stories, features, newsletters and PR pieces. I retired early from a public relations job with the Maricopa County Community Colleges and took a painting class; after all, the motto of MCCC is lifelong learning. Then I took another and another. Fifteen years later I am still taking classes. Surprisingly, I learned I could do in oil paint what I could never do with pen or pencil. Classmates loved my colors, I was accepted into juried exhibitions and people wanted to buy my paintings! I could not have imagined a more wonderful second life!
2015: American Art Collector, Alcove Books, Berkeley, CA
2014: American Art Collector, Alcove Books, Berkeley, CA
2013: American Art Collector,, Alcove Books, Berkeley, CA
2012: American Art Collector, Alcove Books, Berkeley, CA
2009: Paradise Valley Independent, Artist Interview, July 2.
2007: Palms Over Piestewa Peak accepted into Vortex Student Anthology, Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, AZ
Juried member, Arizona Art Alliance, and Arizona Artists Guild, Phoenix, AZ; Scottsdale Artists League, Scottsdale, Arizona, Arizona Professional Writers/National Federation of Press Women.
Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, AZ
University of Missouri, B.J., Columbia, Missouri
2011: Ongoing: watercolor classes at LifeCare Center of Paradise Valley, Phoenix, AZ.
2010-2011: Art assistant, Sonoran Science Academy, Phoenix, AZ